Two autism charities founded by Dame Stephanie Shirley are coming together at a joint fundraising event which puts the autistic people they support front and centre.

Prior’s Court and Autism at Kingwood will take part in Step by Step – Autism United on Wednesday, 17 April.

Click here to donate to the Step-by-Step JustGiving Page

The event will feature 25 young adults from Prior’s Court’s Young Adult Provision and 25 adults supported by Autism at Kingwood taking to the Prior’s Court grounds in a joint-sponsored walk/jog/run fundraiser.

The two groups taking part will be challenged to reach a cumulative number of laps of the 0.6km Prior’s Court track, rather than each person being set individual targets giving the event a feel of inclusivity and teamwork.

The groups will then come together for a joint lunch afterwards.

The event takes place as part of a month-long series of events by Prior’s Court for an elongated World Autism Acceptance Week (April 2 to April 8).

Ryan Campbell, Prior’s Court’s CEO, said:

Prior’s Court and Autism at Kingwood share an inspirational founder in Dame Stephanie Shirley. But there is scope for us to work more closely together to support autistic people across the age groups. And this joint fundraising event is a great way to start this.

The timing of the event is significant with both charities in landmark years.

Autism at Kingwood is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, being founded in 1994 by Dame Stephanie to support her autistic son Giles, removing him from a psychiatric hospital where he had lived for 11 years.

And, for Prior’s Court, the 2024/25 school year marks its 25th anniversary.

Together, the two charities directly support close to 200 people – with Prior’s Court specialising in education and residential care for autistic young people with complex needs aged 5 to 25 and Autism at Kingwood supporting around 110 autistic adults.

Sarah Butcher, Autism at Kingwood CEO, said:

This joyful event will bring together autistic children, young people and adults to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. It also brings together two autistic charities set up by Dame Stephanie Shirley. Autism at Kingwood and Prior's Court are seeking ways to work closely together to support autistic young people transitioning to adult life and adult services.

 See Prior’s Court and Autism at Kingwood’s websites and social media channels for event updates on the day.

Click here to donate to the Step-by-Step JustGiving Page